Established in 2013, Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles Pvt Ltd is the first indigenous manufacturer of eletric rickshaws (3-wheeler), which are marketed under the brand name of GEM. The company is also known for manufacturing the first ever e-rickshaw certified by the government-approved International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT). In this interaction with Rakesh Rao, Zafar Equbal, CEO, Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles Pvt Ltd, elaborates on the impact of low-cost imported technology on electric vehicle market in India.
How has been the journey so far for Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles Pvt Ltd? How is the demand for your e-rickshaws and other electric vehicles?
Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles Pvt Ltd was found in 2013 by a group of intrepid engineers and highly skilled technicians to create the best possible product in terms of design and performance along with creating a cost effective solution. GEM, one of the leading government approved electric rickshaw manufacturers, provides a wide variety of high quality e-rickshaws and other electric vehicles. GEM is proud of itself to promote a cause of clean energy by creating a lasting and harmonious environment.
We serve customers from all over India. Our manufacturing base is situated in Sonepat (Haryana), where we are equipped with an excellent infrastructure that ensures production of world class products at fairly competitive prices. The plant consists of two assembly lines for e-rickshaws, production area of the chassis and FRP body. The foundation is a deep understanding of economic stimuli and customer needs. With the help of experienced engineers and technicians, the company’s engineering research was able to develop a variety of products. It was Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles, which launched the first full fibreglass (FRP) vehicle in India.
Our electric vehicles are used by most of the proficient clientele who have been into the industry for a very long time and have been known for their procurement processes. This shows that the models supplied by Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles are very much apt technically and holds a strong faith in the hearts of the customer on the basis of quality and performance.
What are the challenges before electric vehicle manufacturers? Are low-cost vehicles a hindrance in the growth of EV industry/
Since electric vehicles are new to the market, the people in the industry are not much aware of the facts and the technicality of the overall vehicles system which include an entire set of technical programs within the components of the vehicles. Generally, a lot of so called manufacturers are setting up their manufacturing plants and doing a complete assembly of the vehicles. They do not undergo the R&D process and are unaware of advancements in the technology. We cannot blame only the manufacturers for this and there is also a reason behind this practice. People, to whom these vehicles are sold, do not demand advancements in the vehicle and are very much satisfied if the vehicle runs for 80 km per day. They are also cost-conscious and opt for low-priced products.
Lower the price, higher the demand. This is the USP which disables the manufacturers to do any kind of advancements and the R&D in the vehicles. They are left with no options, but to assemble the vehicles at their workstation.
For charging infrastructure, there are multiple models being proposed - top among them being installation of charging stations and battery swapping. Which according to you is best suited for India?
Charging infrastructure is very much required to be established in the country without which we cannot proceed either with the swapping system or the charging system. According to me, the swapping system is the best way to resolve each kind of issues and various developments in the technology would be required for the same.
What are your growth plans for the company?
We will keep walking ahead, steadily and firmly with the vision of bringing top most technology for the development and manufacturing of electric vehicles.